Olivia Gagan, Raconteur
The UK’s energy grid has been powered for decades by coal and nuclear plants. As these centralised power stations, designed to deliver large quantities of electricity across hundreds of miles of national power networks, are gradually shut down, they are being replaced with smaller, nimbler, decentralised sources of energy.
The benefits of decentralisation – drawing power from multiple, localised energy networks – are numerous. Deploying local solar plants, small wind farms, battery storage and combined heat-and-power plants can drive competition up, and power prices down, as the number of energy providers increases.
It enables greater control in communities over the sources of the energy they consume. Consumers can sell power back to the grid, offering revenue opportunities and a way to provide backup power to the national grid. Localised power is often renewable, helping cut carbon emissions, too.